Fresh off one of the biggest wins in recent history, UD continues on its climb towards an NCAA tournament berth. In beating Saint Louis, UD racked up its fourth win against an RPI Top 50 opponent and the ninth Top 100 win on the season. A win tomorrow night against Richmond would give UD 10 wins against the RPI Top 100. Do these numbers even mean anything? I don’t know, but the fact that I have so many esteemed Bracketologists telling me Dayton is in the tournament is all I need to hear. If UD had taken care of business against USC and Illinois State, the Flyers would likely be looking at a 7/8 seed right now — but no use in crying over spilt milk. The Flyers just have to take care of business in their next two games and then we can all take a deep sigh of relief.
UD’s Selection Sheet, as it stands:
But on to much bigger news…
The man, the myth, the cocksman, Keith Waleskowski will enter the UD Hall of Fame at halftime of this weekend’s game:[quote_box_center]Waleskowski’s whole family will be proud of him this weekend as he’s inducted into the Dayton Athletic Hall of Fame. He and other inductees will be introduced during halftime of the 7 p.m. game against Richmond on Saturday. The honor comes 10 years after Waleskowski’s senior season when he helped lead the Flyers to their second straight NCAA tournament appearance.[/quote_box_center]
Additionally, everyone’s sweetheart, Christi Mack, will be inducted alongside Waleskowski (and others, presumably). Her last trip to the Arena was, at no fault of her own, less than dignified:
In a spirited rivalry like the one shared by the University of Dayton and Xavier, you always find somebody who steps over the line and turns into a jerk. That was the case Saturday with some folks in the UD student section at theArena.
They targeted Christi Mack, the UD hall of fame candidate and the wife of Xavier’s coach, Chris Mack.
Christi — who was a star of the UD women’s team in the late 1990s and is remembered here as one of the most delightful players ever to wear a Flyers basketball uniform — was sitting behind the Xavier bench in the first half wearing a blue and white striped shirt and that ever-present smile.
According to one UD official that’s when she said some UD students began taunting her using nasty terms, including:
“Christi Hester is a b——! Christi Hester is a b——-!”
UD season ticket holders who were sitting near her said she became visibly upset and then tearful. Eventually she got up from her seat, removed the chain over the aisle that gives entry to the court and headed toward UD officials sitting at the end of the scorer’s table.
An usher tried to stop her, but she was heard saying “I know him.”
She was referring to Dick Netzley, the long-time director of game operations at the Arena.
“Some students were yelling some pretty nasty staff, she said, and she was upset and crying,” Netzley said. “We asked her to point out where they were and she did, but by the time we got there, they had taken off.”
She returned to her seat and one season ticket holder near her said she began to weep.[/quote_box_center]
Don’t jeer a conquering hero returning to her nest! I don’t care if she has to look at Chris Mack’s unclipped cock every time he pops out of the shower. That’s even more reason to give her a standing ovation.
Back to the business at hand. The golden ring is dancing casually on their fingertips, a win against a depleted Richmond team (on Devin Oliver Appreciation Day!), would allow the Flyers to confidentially grasp it. Finally.
Richmond and Dayton were both on the NCAA tournament bubble mere weeks ago. One team went this way, the other went in the opposite direction. Richmond made a valiant try after their leading scorer, Cedrick Lindsay, went down with a season-ending knee injury early in February. The Spiders miraculously won four of the next five after Lindsay went down and, with a 17-8 (7-3) record, were on the right side of the bubble. Their fortunes changed quickly, however, as UR lost two of the next three and suffered a season-killing blowout loss at Rhode Island last weekend. The Spider flame has been extinguished.
[pull_quote_center]Richmond lost both seniors for the season when Cedrick Lindsay tore a meniscus in both knees and Derrick Williams left the team for personal reasons. The Spiders are one of the youngest teams in the country with no seniors in uniform and only 2 juniors that see action.[/pull_quote_center]
Chris Mooney’s club beat six Top 100 RPI teams, including a victory against Massachusetts. Richmond is second in the A-10 in scoring defense, allowing just 65.5 points per game. The Spiders are third in the A-10 and 13th in the nation in 3-point FG pct. defense (.292) and third in the A-10 in FG pct. defense (.413). The Spiders will aim to keep UD contained on defense and hope the Flyers get caught up in the hype surrounding their NCAA chances — is it possible that this could be both a look-ahead and a let-down game for Dayton?
Meet and Greet
Kendall Anthony (15.7 ppg/4.0 rpg) has become the Spiders’ Allen Iverson — a hired gun with an unsteady hand. Anthony has pretty much played every minute of every game since Lindsay went down and has used that opportunity to fire up shot after shot. The results have not been encouraging. The junior went 4-of-15 against La Salle, 9-of-24 vs. George Mason (a game in which Anthony launched up 17 three-pointers) and a ghastly 2-of-20 last weekend against Rhody. It’s painfully clear that the little guy works better as a second or third option on offense. Without Lindsay’s presence, opposing teams are capable of pressuring the Richmond point-guard as soon as he gets the ball. With little support, it’s completely on Anthony’s shoulders to create offense for the Spiders.
ShawnDre’ (yup) Jones has been the main benefactor of Lindsay’s injury. Jones has been logging 25+ minutes a game since UR’s game against VCU, scoring a career-high 25 points against George Washington. The freshman has been hitting 44% of his three-point attempts since becoming a vital part of the Richmond attack.
Richmond took another hit when big, and I mean big, man Derrick Williams walked away from the program in early February due to “family issues.” The Spider frontcourt is a triumvirate composed of sophomores Terry Allen (9.3 ppg/5.5 rpg), Trey Davis (5.5 ppg/6.7 rpg) and Deion Taylor (4.3 ppg/3.0 rpg). If this was chess, these three men would be pawns — although, to be fair, Allen may be a bishop.
Alonzo Nelson-Ododa (6.0 ppg/5.1 rpg) is the big in the middle for UR.
I don’t want to get off this train, dudes. UD keeps it rolling, 74-65.